Tuesday, November 26, 2013

T is for....

I have been one since 1957 and I have taught in three countries: England, Canada and the U.S. Over the course of 55 years of teaching, I have taught every grade from K - 12. My last 35 years have been primarily teaching Junior High and High School (i.e. ages 12-18 years).  I retired from full time teaching in 2002 but continued tutoring in math for another 5 years.  In addition, I am still teaching an adult Bible Study class weekly. In 1991 I became principal of our school in addition to teaching four or five hours a day.



Moving into the Principal's office 1990

Working on the Yearbook 1991

Which grade did I like teaching best?  Probably 10th and 11th because they really are more focused on learning.

What subjects did I like to teach the most?  Of course, Bible.  I truly LOVE teaching Bible, especially Bible History.  I find it fascinating.  But of the other subjects, I love teaching English literature, math (fractions) decimals.

Are students today worse than they used to be?  Oh yes!  Children are not restrained and not taught respect.  This is the parents' fault, who in turn can lay the blame at the feet of today's culture which is the result of mass media which has been pushing the boundaries of decency and morality for decades. Parents, hold on to your standards no matter how unpopular it may make you. Your children will thank you when they have to hold down a job and have their own children. Believe me!  Be fair but firm.

You may have other questions, but here's another piece of unasked for information.  I believe one secret to better  results in education (definitely not the only one), is to have separate classes for boys and girls from approximately 6th grade.  It totally removes the peer pressure sensitivities...and surprise, surprise, the kids like it better.

We are now into the final run of this round of ABC WEDNESDAY, so ably adjudicated by Denise Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green.  Please click HERE to take a look at other entries for the letter T.  You will be entertained and maybe even educated.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

S IS FOR....


She is the oldest iron-hulled sailing ship in the world -- and she still sails!

She was built in 1863 in Ramsey on the Isle of Man and today resides at the Embarcadero in San Diego. What a beautiful ship she is!  She is open to the public and I and my family have all explored aboard her.  This year is her 150th anniversary, and as she has many other years, she took to the seas again just to prove she can still do it. It is a magnificent sight to see her sailing the beautiful San Diego Bay.  Of course we are all very proud of her. 

She has had an eventful life, having sailed around the world 21 times.  Her first voyage involved a collision and a mutiny.  Later she was caught in a cyclone and barely survived.  In addition her first captain died aboard and had to be buried at sea. Not an uneventful life.

Originally her name was Euterpe and she was used for the Indian jute trade.  Later she was employed in carrying passengers and freight to New Zealand for 21 years.  Each voyage was made by travelling eastward around the world and at one point she ran aground in Hawaii.

In 1901 she was registered to the United States where she was employed in ferrying fishermen, cannery workers and supplies from California to Alaska. That was when her name was changed to "The Star of India".   In 1926  having come to the end of her trading and commercial career, there was a movement to have her restored to the grand old ship that she was.  Economic setbacks such as the Great Depression and World War ll took their toll but in 1976 she was finally ship-shape and sea worthy and put to sea once again from her home port of San Diego with great celebration.  I'm happy and proud to say that I was there to see it!   It was a momentous occasion for San Diego! 

Soon after that I did a water color painting of her in full sail (about 10 X 8 inches). It is the only one of my paintings I have ever tried to sell.  I donated it to a silent auction to raise funds for our small Christian School. I was blown away when it was sold for $70!!  Sadly I never kept a copy because computers were not all the rage back then and we didn't even own one never mind know how to use one.  Too bad.

So the STAR OF INDIA has special meaning for our family, the Isle of Man being only a stone's throw from Liverpool where my husband grew up.

The Star of India docked in San Diego

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday, the weekly meme set up by Mrs. Nesbitt and now continued by Roger Owen Green.  To see other interesting and often educational responses, please click HERE.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

R is for...

Growing up as I did on the tip of Flamborough Head, a promontary that thrusts out into the stormy North Sea, I am quite familiar with rough seas, but I never cease to get a thrill out the power of the wind and the waves.

R IS Also for....

A few days ago I saw this video taken by the RNLI of a lifeboat and helicopter searching rough seas for a teenager who had been washed away in the raging waters in the midst of the hurricane strength storm that hit Britain last week.  Imagine being in THAT lifeboat being battered around by the wind and the waves. Please click on this link to see REALLY Rough Seas.


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution of the UK  is made up of some of the most courageous men in the world.
Painting by B.F. Gribble, courtesy Wikipedia

Most of the lifeboat crew are unpaid volunteers. The RNLI was founded in 1824 and was granted the 'Royal' part of their name by Queen Victoria.  They have approximately 444 lifeboats around Britain and Ireland and are responsible for saving thousands of lives since their inception. They are funded by donations and legacies.

I have seen the launching of a lifeboat many times both in an emergency and in practice mode.  In the village of Flamborough, the lifeboat crew was summoned by setting off a rocket just down the road from where I lived.  If it was the middle of the night, of course I woke up and would run to the window to see the lights from the local fishermen dashing down the road to the landing on their bicycles.  None of them had cars in those days.  This would be in the late forties.  The old lifeboats were large shiny ship-shape vessels  and had to be launched down the slipway and over the sand into the bay, using long beams of wood set across the sand to aid its progress as it gathered speed down to the water.

My experiences of rough seas come mainly from my time of living in Flamborough.  I well remember the storm of 1953 when the waves were so big they were breaking over the headland and washed out and destroyed a field of barley. The cliffs at that point were about 50 foot high and they say the spray went over the top of the lighthouse (85 feet or 26m).  I was about 15 years old at the time and we had moved just a few months before from the village, a mile, away to the tip of the headland at the lighthouse. I used to have dreams about those massive waves surging into the small bay. Sadly I have no photographs to document them, only memories. 

However, in 2005 when we were in North Wales, we experienced a strong storm passing through. Llandudno on the coast of North Wales has often experienced flooding and this photo is testimony to the rough seas it sometimes experiences. This one was taken by my husband.

There was a great gale blowing that day and I have to say that the stormy weather delighted our whole family.

The next couple of photos were taken here in Southern California where we have no storms worthy of comparison to those I witnessed in England.  But we do have some rough seas here in the winter. These high waves breaking over the Oceanside Harbor breakwater in these photos have been generated by big storms that were located down off New Zealand.  That seems a long way for these large waves to come, but that's what they tell us and sometimes if  there's not too much wind associated, the surfers are overjoyed to find some large waves with good form.

As much as it is exciting to watch these kind of ROUGH SEAS, the kind of wind and seas generated by the typhoon this weekend that passed over the Philippines is not fun and exciting.  As we have seen, it is downright dangerous.  We have a large population of Filipinos in our area and our prayers and support go out for them as they wait to hear from their families as well as to those on the islands who are trying to recover from the great loss of life and property.

This week is the letter R in the weekly meme ABC WEDNESDAY.  We are now in the 13th round of this project, which was begun by Mr. Nesbitt and is now continued by Roger Owen Green and other helpers.  Thank you all for your faithful commitment.  To see more of the fascinating posts presented in this project please click HERE.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


When is a Creek not a Creek?

When it becomes a river!

We had a good rainstorm last week.  In the midst of all our wonderful weather, the rain, which we badly needed, chose to come overnight.  I think we got only about half an inch, but it was enough to make a difference to the creek.  We have been holding our breath waiting to see how far the creek would rise.  

In all the years we have lived in Carlsbad there was never any flooding in this park but I have see quite a bit of flooding in the 70's and 80's elsewhere in the three cities that make up our area.  Since that time there have been a lot of drains put in, as new areas of the cities have  developed. 

There was one year in the seventies when there was some small flooding in one part of the park, but that was because some debris got trapped under the one bridge we have and the water backed up.  As it is we estimate that our house is about 20 - 25 feet above the summer creek level, (which is so low the ducks have a hard time swimming! ) You have to remember that the house is raised up off the ground base level by about three feet. Then the back garden slopes down to the actual creek bank, which then slopes  to the creek bed, dropping down about 15 feet.

We are definitely not expecting any flooding We did quite a bit of research through city hall to make sure of that before we bought this house.  We're just excited to see the creek actually look like a river.  In fact, the rain stopped in the very early morning.  It was blue sky and sunshine before I put my nose out from under the sheets and by lunch time it had nearly all gone.

Confession:   My husband took the photos.  Not even the 'river' could get me out of bed -- though I did go to the window and look out.

But all was not well with Scruffy. 

The rain on the roof really spooked him.  It was quite heavy at times and this is our first rain of the season.  It sounds much louder in these 'manufactured' homes than in a normal stucco house. I couldn't get him to eat the night after the rain. He kept looking around expecting the noise to come back. He was back to normal the next day, but rain is forecast for Tuesday -- and well...it is the rainy season and he will just have to learn how to live like a California cat!

This is my contribution to ABC WEDNESDAY which is in its 13th round and so ably led by Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green and their trusty band of helpers. Q is quite a struggle for many of us who have been through the alphabet a good many times before, so why don't you pop over to see what masterpieces of imagination have been conjured up for us by other participants. Just click HERE